Being yourself makes you superior
Posted Thursday, May 3 2012 at 18:00
Of all the numerous e-mails that I received after last week’s article, one that really caught my attention stated: “Wale, I have listened to you speak and you don’t sound like a photocopy.”
Well, that was precisely why I shared what I wrote last week. I am no more a photocopy.
Many people are still where I was as a photocopy and need to break out like I finally did.
It starts with the understanding that you were wired to be yourself, and only in being yourself can you fulfil your destiny.
Many people are too concerned about how they will be perceived. It is the reason they buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t even like.
If you are too concerned about other people’s opinions, you are not likely to attain any personal objectives. If everyone agrees with everything you do, then it means you are all on the same level of thought. You therefore cannot achieve anything significantly different from what they achieve.
You need to take your thoughts from the thinking of the masses to what I call superiority thinking.
The thinking of the masses always complains about problems. Superiority thinking looks for solutions in the problems, knowing that every problem is a breakthrough in waiting.
The thinking of the masses makes one so engrossed in the challenges of the present that they are too overwhelmed to dream. On the other hand, superiority thinking has a hand on the present and eyes on the future.
The thinking of the masses looks for every way to conform. Superiority thinking looks for the way to be different.
The thinking of the masses gets its kicks from how similar one is to the rest. Superiority thinking gets its kicks from how different one is.
Even great nations are built on the foundation of originality. Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, said in the book, From Third World to First, that “We had to create a new kind of economy, try new methods and schemes never tried before anywhere else in the world because there was no other country like Singapore.”
Your originality is the gift that you have for the world. If you allow it to be killed, you would have committed the greatest disservice, not just to yourself but to your world.
Of the world changers you can think of, you will realise that the only thing they have in common is that they are original.
The boldness to embrace your originality is one of the traits of greatness. Too many people are intimidated by their own originality and live their lives as photocopies.
I decided that if I continued living as a photocopy, even if I did it well, at best I would be second, and not first. I realised that if the original appeared, no one would consider the clone.
I realised that if I tried to be that American speaker or the Nigerian bishop and they suddenly showed up, no one would want to listen to me any more. They would rather have the original.
So I decided to stop living as a clone. I went on a campaign to challenge the status quo. I asked my mother why I had to wear my watch on my left hand. She said, “That’s just how it’s done.”